Piled Higher and Deeper on the Cariboo Trail


64 pages
ISBN 0-88839-487-X
DDC C811'.54




Illustrations by Wendy Liddle
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta. He is
the author of Calling Texas, Earth Prime, and Mind the Gap.


Cowboy poetry is a special taste. The themes are limited—heifers,
rodeos, hard times, pratfalls, and the cow dropping alluded to in the
title of this book and depicted on the back cover. Puhallo is typical of
this kind of poet, and to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, “the best
in this kind are but shadows,” shadows of original poetry. Puhallo
likes to rhyme words like “vaccine” and “clean,” so when
“silly” ends a line, “filly” will not be far behind. His most
daring simile is to describe heifer calves “as fat as jelly beans.”
He has the usual piety associated with cowboy poetry and he adds to it a
large dollop of Canadian patriotism. The book comes with rather
elementary cartoons by Wendy Liddle, which express the spirit of the
work. Puhallo will appeal only to fans of cowboy poetry, who are quite
different from lovers of poetry.


Puhallo, Mike., “Piled Higher and Deeper on the Cariboo Trail,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/5437.